Author Guest Post - Jimmy Root Jr.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today I'm pleased to welcome Jimmy Root Jr., author of Distant Thunder: Book One of the Lightning Chronicles. His guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.


What Does Plausibility have to do With It?

Have you ever listened to a storyteller spin a yarn and all the while you were thinking, “This makes no sense?” The reason you came to that conclusion was either because that particular bard was terrible at telling a story or, the story itself didn’t promote plausibility.

As my fingers were sending sparks flying from my keyboard in the writing of Distant Thunder, every ounce of grey matter in my head was pulsating. It was shouting, “Keep It Plausible Stupid. Make it believable!” So, I took the headlines being broadcast on the news and projected my story into the world of current events and how they align to Bible prophecy. The trick worked. My story immediately took on a level of believability that captivates the reader.

How does a writer create plausibility?

I believe there are two distinct methods the writer can use in creating a tale that is plausible.

The first is the creation of a true-to-life scenario, with characters that reflect at least some elements of authentic human nature. Take for instance the popular series “Smallville.” The setting is a small Kansas farm town where Clark Kent got his start in life on earth. His character eventually transforms into Superman, but in the developmental years, Clark goes through all of the emotional ups and downs that the rest of us had to suffer. The only difference was that Clark could pick up a tractor and throw it across the county. What makes the story plausible is the realism of the setting and the human likeness in the future Superman. We all know there is no such thing as a Superman, but because we see he battles the same inner drama as the rest of us, we are willing to accept his fictional existence. We are easily pulled into his continuing saga. That is plausibility.

There is a second method of producing plausibility in a story. It has to do with how the characters see themselves and the setting in which they exist. For example, no one in their right mind believes there is a way to travel at ten times the speed of light. It is a physical impossibility, at least with our limited scientific knowledge. But the crew members of the USS Enterprise have believed it since Gene Rodenberry created them. Therefore, we join in on their adventures to go where no one has gone before, and we suck it all in as if we were there. Why? Because Captains Kirk and Piccard see every world they discover, every alien they face, and every circumstance they encounter as completely plausible. Only Spock has difficulty from time to time with plausibility. He can’t see beyond his logic. Logically speaking, warp drive doesn’t exist in the real world, but it does exist on Star Trek. One can easily see the concept. If it is plausible to the character, it is more palatably plausible to the reader.

As you write your story, ask yourself a couple pertinent questions. Does the near-reality of the story lend itself to plausibility? Is my story believable because of its reflection of authenticity? Is my wild scenario plausible to the characters I have created? If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, your story is probably quite believable.

Thanks for that interesting post, dear author. Readers, as always your thoughts and comments are most welcome!

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1 People said

  1. Very enlightening post by Jimmy Root! Even in real life, when I hear a story, I do a plausibility check and end up saying "That's a likely story!"


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